While Pride month is traditionally celebrated in June, many communities will host festivals later in the year. October is known as LGBTQ+ History Month, and in South Carolina, some towns and cities are planning to celebrate LGBTQ+ Pride this October, including Charleston Black Pride, Famously Hot South Carolina Pride and Upstate SC Pride.
Each festival is set to have a wide variety of activities; from parades and vendors to drag pageants and more, there is something for everyone at each of these Pride events.
Upstate Pride SC’s Fall March and Festival
Upstate Pride SC’s Fall Pride Festival will take place on Saturday, October 28 in Downtown Spartanburg at the corners of W. Broad Street and S. Spring Street from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The festival will also include a parade, which starts at noon.
The festival was started in 2008 in partnership with members of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Spartanburg. The first event brought over 500 people marching for LGBTQ+ rights, and since then, the event has grown from a march of 500 to a festival of thousands.
Food trucks and vendors will line the streets, offering a wide array of tasty treats and specialty goods for festival goers. There will be a week prior to the festival filled with events for everyone to enjoy, including a Pride kick off party, a hiking adventure and a pet-centric Howloween celebration, among other events.
After the festival there will be a drag brunch at the Torchwood Tavern from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m on October 29. Tickets will be available on the Upstate SC Pride website at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/727080797237?aff=oddtdtcreator.
”Famously Hot” South Carolina Pride
The largest LGBTQ+ Pride festival in South Carolina is set to make its return on October 20 and October 21 in Columbia. “Famously Hot” South Carolina Pride will kick off on Main Street with its annual Get Lit Night Parade, which will start at 7 p.m.
The event is hosted by SC Pride, a nonprofit organization based in Columbia dedicated to “serving the needs of the LGBTQ+ community and its partners through educational events, entertainment, community outreach, and celebrations of diversity throughout the year,” according to the organization’s website.
The organization’s mission statement reads:
“The mission of South Carolina Pride Movement is to support the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender community of South Carolina; to celebrate the richness and diversity of LGBT lives; to educate the general population on LGBT issues; and to advocate for equality and inclusion in all areas of life.”
The night parade will start at Main Street and Laurel Street and move south to Lady Street.
According to the website:
“We would love to have you and your organization join us this year for our night-time parade. We strongly encourage colorfully lit floats, cars, groups of people, along with fun and appropriate music. Parades really get crowds excited for Pride, and we want to make the biggest impact we can.”
Following the parade will be a Get Lit Street Party filled with glow sticks, colorful ensembles and a concert at 8:30 p.m. featuring drag queens and live entertainment. There will also be a festival on the 21st, which will also include a live stage.
Charleston Black Pride
Charleston Black Pride is making its return this October for its fourth year. This year’s event will go from October 27 to November 1, with each day having a different event or activity. The theme for this year is “It’s all about Expression! We Pride Always.”
“I hope you are getting your outfits readdddyyy, your best hairstyles and exotic nails did because Charleston Black Pride isn’t cutting no corners this year,” the organization wrote in a Facebook post.
This year’s event will include a traditional kiki ball, a health and wellness expo, a fashion show, Sunday brunch, a black-tie gala and an educational event on the trans experience. There will also be a ’90s themed cookout fit for the entire family, followed by an open mic night and a ghoulish good time at Tattooed Moose on Chateau Avenue.
Other Prides throughout the year
Most of South Carolina’s other Pride events happen through June, which is officially recognized as Pride Month. Some of these Pride events include Charleston Pride Parade, Charleston Pride Week, Outfest Columbia, Pride Myrtle Beach, Rock Hill Pride Festival and more.
Charleston Pride took place on September 16 at The Refinery, providing attendees with a family-friendly celebration. More information on Charleston Pride and Pride Week can be found on the event’s website.
Outfest Columbia happened on June 3, and it serves as the perfect kick off for Pride Month. The event was filled with live entertainment, vendors and lively community members. More information on Outfest can be found on the South Carolina Pride website.
Pride Myrtle Beach hosts the annual Pride in the Park Festival, which took place on September 30 at the Market at Valor Park. The event included live performances from drag queens, singers and more. More information can be found at the organization’s website.
Rock Hill celebrates pride over the span of a week in June, welcoming residents and visitors to a festival filled with acceptance and love. The event took place on June 24 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at The Mercantile, Episcopal Church Lot, Gettys Center and Millstone. More information can be found at the event’s website.
Low Country Pride Parade and Festival took place last year on November 5 in Bluffton, but there hasn’t been an official date announced for this year’s event. More information about the organization can be found on its website.